Tuesday, June 5, 2007

High Street Blues

There’s a storm brewing amongst our city government. Multiple sources tell me that there was a major blowup last week between Mayor Plusquellic and Police Chief Michael Matulavich. My own experience has been that the two have professional respect for one another but don’t share recipes if you know what I mean. I’m not sure what sparked this tiff, but during the heat of battle, the Mayor talked about replacing Matulavich and the Chief responded by telling the Mayor what to do with a resignation. I’m told that when the smoke cleared, Matulavich and Plusquellic were still standing but it wasn’t pretty. I recall the day Matulavich was named Chief and the Mayor included a comment that he was selecting Matulavich in part because he was the most senior Deputy Chief available. Later, I heard that Matulavich was really steamed about that remark. He believed that the Mayor should be choosing a Chief because he was the best cop for the job and not just the only available candidate. With the department already understaffed and under fire from residents and others, let’s hope these two can find a way to make peace.

I’m so tired of looking at the rusted, burned-out end of the Akron Air dock that I decided to find out why it wasn’t being fixed. If you’ve seen it lately, then you know how ugly it looks after the fire more than a year ago. A nice public relations lady from Lockheed Martin got back to me last night and says that the finances have finally been worked out and the repairs should be done by the end of the summer. She said the insurance company that backs the welder who sparked the fire is paying the bill. What’s sad is that means we’ll have to endure a second All-American Soap Box Derby with that mammoth eyesore. I hate to have hundreds of families from across the country come to our great town and then have to look at that mess for an entire week.

Julie from Akron emailed me about fears of a new parking lot the City of Akron plans for the intersection of Revere Road and Sand Run Parkway. It’s right at the top of the hill as you come out Sand Run. Julie tells me that the parking lot will include 30 spots and a restroom about 90 feet from residential homes. She’s concerned that it will become a hangout for gang activity. I’m not sure that that area jumps to mind when it comes to juvenile crime, but if those that live around there are concerned about it, I hope that City Council at least considers their fears.

Speaking of City Council, was anyone else surprised at the $600K in gas royalties that the baker’s dozen so quickly agreed to give to the All-American Soap Box Derby? I checked the agenda yesterday before the meeting and didn’t even see the item listed. Maybe I missed it, but I was surprised the 12+1 didn’t ask for any public input before agreeing to up the SBD’s allowance. I mean, 600K???? Did they even ask the folks with the Gravity Grand Prix to open their ledger and confirm how much is coming in and going out? If your son asks for some extra spending dough, don’t you ask him what he did with the money he already had before you give him more for the arcade? Again, I’m not saying the SBD folks don’t need this, and being a parent of derby racers, it’s a great activity that benefits so many. Still, just a few weeks ago, I heard that beginning this year, the champs would be asked to buy their own set of black racing wheels for the All-American Race when the wheels were typically a gift to each racer. That was a sign to me that the Derby was having some serious financial issues, and with the big race just seven weeks away, maybe there really wasn’t time to gauge public input. Still, I’m wondering what that $600K was originally designated to support and what programs or jobs will be lost because those dollars are rolling down Derby Downs.


Pho said...

A real blog! Comments!! Linkable pages!! RSS FEED!!!!

I'm so happy.



Now about that blogroll.

Tony said...

I don't see a problem with the parking lot there actually, there isn't a way to park and enter the trail from that end, this'll alleviate the parking congestion that happens at the Portage Trail entrance.
And the Metroparks provide nice restroom facilities, take for example the one at Ira trailhead, or the Lost Pines area at Sand Run.

The Sand Run trail is pretty populated at all times during the spring/summer/fall, I don't really see gangs congregating there.

sab said...

Wow- lots of content in this post.

I'm commenting about a possible parking lot at Revere and Sand Run. It's certainly needed. I live at the Portage Path end of the Sand Run Jogging Trail. A lot of the users of the trail are coming in from Fairlawn and Bath. It's hard on us at the other end of the trail that they have to drive all the way to Portage Path (by way of SandRun or the Valley) use the trail and then drive out.It generates a lot of unnecessary traffic at our end. It would be a lot less burdensome on us at the Portage end of the trail, and much more convenient for those from the other end if they could just park at their end, walk the trail and end up at their end of the trail. I know it sounds inconsistent since I'm complaining about park related traffic, but I'm tired of the NIMBYs who want to have all the advantages of living near the parks, but none of the "disadvantages" of the people and traffic of users who make the parks possible.